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Elena Patz swims in the 200-yard butterfly during the Bobcats’ meet with Ball State at the Ohio University Aquatic Center on Jan. 30. (FILE)

Swim & Dive: Ohio heads to Louisville Invitational looking to replicate last year's second-place finish

The Ohio swimming and diving team heads to the Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky, hosted by Louisville University for a six-team meet from Nov. 18-20.

Ohio is coming into the invitational with losses in its last two meets including to rival and Mid-American Conference foe Miami on Nov. 5.

Three Bobcat swimmers come to the invitational with first place finishes the last time Ohio swam. Corrin Van Lanen has been the most consistent swimmer for Ohio, winning the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races in all three meets for the Bobcats. Mikayla Herich swam to victory in the 200-yard freestyle, and Annie Gosselin was victorious in the 200-yard butterfly for the second time this season.

The tournament, taking place over three days, allows more rest for the swimmers, so there should be fast time, coach Rachel Komisarz-Baugh said. The invitational will be more specific for Ohio swimmers as each swimmer is competing in a maximum of four individual events along with any relays. 

Ohio will be joined at the meet by host Louisville, Wright State, Southern Illinois, Illinois State and Florida International University.

Louisville is the only team competing in the invitational that is ranked nationally. They are number eight per the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, and the best team at the meet, according to Komisarz-Baugh.

She said that Ohio will compete with Louisville in some events but not all of them. All the other teams are around Ohio’s level, and high expectations have been set by Komisarz-Baugh. 

“We should finish second, third in the tournament as a whole,” Komisarz said.

Florida International comes into the meet having won six dual-meets in a row and having won two Conference USA titles in a row.

Illinois State was predicted to finish fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference Championships preseason poll and has found success recently with two dual-meet wins in a row.

In preseason polls Wright State was picked to finish tied for fourth in the Horizon League and is coming off a loss to Milwaukee on Nov. 6.

The last meet Southern Illinois was a part of was on Nov. 4-5 when the team came in fourth, of four teams, although they were up against No. 18 Missouri and No. 23 Kentucky.

“We’re just looking for lifetime bests, for everybody to continue to improve and having the right mentality going into the meet that they’re going to be faster than ever before, dive stronger than they’ve ever done,” Komisarz-Baugh said.

Preliminaries start at 10 a.m. all three days with finals beginning at 6 p.m. for the first two days and a 3:30 p.m. start on Sunday.


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